The 2018 fantasy football season is officially underway which means it is time for the return of our weekly “Winning on the Waiver Wire” series. For those who may be new the format is simple, we will break down the must adds, suggested adds and cover a few of the deep league waiver wire pickups each week for your fantasy squad.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone who has followed my articles over the past 6 seasons. I (KJ) have accepted a software development position here in Boulder, CO starting next week, at which time our VP of operations Thor Akerley will be taking over publication of this article. I’ll remain on site as a developer helping to build the tools that will help grow our community for years to come.
Winning on the waiver wire | Week 2 | 2018
*All players listed are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues. Suggested FAAB bids appear in green
Need a TE? I added a special “I lost my TE” section to the bottom of the article
Geronimo Allison – WR – Packers (12% owned) | 7% FAAB
I’ll likely get a number of comments asking why Geronimo isn’t a must add, and depending on the depth of your league he certainly could be, but as you’ll see in this week’s article there are a number of solid WR options available meaning I don’t think you need to spend a lot of your weekly FAAB dollars or waiver priority in scooping up the Packers WR3. The numbers were solid on Sunday night as Geronimo was heavily involved seeing 8 targets which he converted into 5 receptions for 69 yards and a TD, and if Randall Cobb suffers any setbacks following his offseason ankle surgery Geronimo will become an obvious must add, especially considering Geronimo’s ownership should skyrocket over 25% following his performance.
Brandon Marshall – WR – Seattle Seahawks (7% owned) | 6% FAAB
The 34 year old Marshall isn’t getting any younger, but with Doug Baldwin’s MCL injury Brandon figures to feature prominently in the Seahawks passing offense. If Tyler Lockett (51% owned) is available he would be my first pickup, but assuming he is taken in most competitive leagues then I would take a look at Marshall who brought in 3 of 6 targets for 46 yards and a TD agains the Broncos. Brandon should be one of Wilson’s favorite red zone targets this season, and while he may not have many 100 yard games in him Marshall should be a nice flex play while lining up as the WR2 for the Seahawks.
Ryan Grant – WR – Colts (3% owned) | 6% FAAB
Grant is one of my favorite PPR waiver wire pickups of the week following his Sunday matchup with the Bengals where he brought in 8 of 9 targets for 59 yards. While many will point to the low yardage total as a reason to stay away, for me volume is king in fantasy football and Grant should have plenty of it as the Colts are running a quick hitting play style that allows Andrew Luck to get the ball out quickly to possession receivers like Grant. In full PPR formats I’d go as high as 11% on my FAAB bid, but I would not waste a #1 waiver as Ryan isn’t likely to find the end zone on a regular basis this season leaving him reliant on yardage to produce fantasy points.
James White – RB – Patriots (49% owned) | 6% FAAB
I’ll be surprised if White is still available in any competitive leagues (especially those with PPR), but if he is out there you’ll want to scoop him up now as he led the Patriots in targets with 9 (only caught 4 of them), and he should feature heavily in the passing game going forward. Once Julian Edelman is back from suspension we can expect James’ targets to settle into the 5-6 per game range making him a dicey flex play, especially given the fact that Rex Burkhead (18) had 3.5x as many carries as White (5). As you can see in the suggested FAAB this is a short term rental, so don’t burn a #1 waiver if you don’t use the FAAB system, but for those teams hurting for a RB (especially in PPR) James White can help sneak you a win over the next few weeks.
Chris Godwin – WR – Bucs (30% owned) | 5% FAAB
This was a guy I drafted heading into the season, so I’ll admit to having some personal bias, but with the reports that Godwin would operate as the WR2 for a Bucs team that is expected to struggle on defense I was looking for 5-6 targets a week. Now with Desean Jackson in the concussion protocol that number should grow as Godwin will continue to line up opposite Mike Evans each week. The Bucs have 2 (projected) high scoring offenses on the schedule in the Eagles and Steelers coming up meaning Chris should be a solid WR3 in 12 team leagues following his 3 reception, 41 yard, 1 TD game against the Saints.
Cole Beasley – WR – Dallas Cowboys (8% owned) | 4% FAAB
Make no mistake about it, the Cowboys are hurting at WR these days. With the departure of Dez Bryant there is no clear no. 1 in the WR corps, however it would appear that the most trust target is Cole Beasley as he brought in 7 of 8 targets for 73 yards this past Sunday. Preseason sleeper darling Michael Gallup was quiet with just 1 reception for 9 yards, while veterans Allen Hurns and Terrance Williams combined for just 2 receptions for just 26 yards. Beasley isn’t worth a large chunk of your FAAB budget or your #1 waiver pick, but if you can get him at the right price he is a reasonable plug and play WR3 this season.
Jordan Wilkins – RB – Colts (36% owned) | 4% FAAB
I’m sure there will be a few owners in a rush to add Wilkins as he appears to be the starter for the Colts while Mack remains out, but the early returns were far from impressive as he ran the ball 14 times for 40 yards against the Bengals while ceding passing down work to Nyheim Hines. For me personally I’ll pass on Wilkins at this juncture, but if you need a “starter” for your squad you can pick up Jordan who should at least see goal line work until Marlon Mack (hamstring) is ready to return.
Phillip Dorsett – WR – Patriots (4% owned) | 4% FAAB
For those of us that watched the Patriots game, Dorsett was targeted early and often by Brady and would’ve ended up with 6 receptions however he stole one from Chris Hogan to bring that total up to 7 while adding on 66 yards and a TD, but this is a special case as Dorsett’s target shares will likely plummet once Julian Edelman returns. While this upcoming week’s matchup isn’t ideal against the Jaguars stingy defense, Dorsett will get Detroit and Miami in weeks 3 and 4 where I will have him firmly in my WR3 rankings.
T.J. Yeldon – RB – Jaguars (15% owned) | 3% FAAB
As a fellow Leonard Fournette owner I was all too aware of his potential for injury, and it crept up in week one as he departed with a hamstring injury. Yeldon is slotted for the receiving back role this year in the Jags offense, but for those games where Leonard is out TJ will be firmly in the RB2 conversation following his solid 17 touches for 69 yards and a TD in week 1. At this time it looks like Fournette is trending towards probable for week 2 against the Patriots, so don’t go nuts blowing your FAAB money on Yeldon who will be just another handcuff when Fournette is active.
Austin Ekeler – RB – Chargers (17% owned) | 2% FAAB
Ekeler proved himself to be one of the highest upside handcuffs in the league week 1 as he racked up 10 touches for 126 yards and a TD against the Chiefs. As long as Melvin Gordon is healthy Ekeler will maintain his role as the passing down / change of pace back, but even in that role he should have flex value in 12 team leagues, especially those that use any form of PPR. In the event of an injury to Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler would become a must add off waivers, so if you have room to stash him or need a boom or bust flex play now is the time to scoop him up off the waiver wire.
Nyheim Hines – RB – Colts (5% owned) | 2% FAAB
I’ll make this one easy on you. If you play in PPR, you’ll want to pick up Nyheim Hines following his 9 targets, 7 reception game against the Bengals. He didn’t rack up a ton of yards, but the Colts lined him up everywhere including at WR meaning he will see targets on a consistent basis. As I mentioned in the Ryan Grant comment the Colts will be looking for the quick hitting targets this season, such as screens to Hines. If you need PPR value at the RB position Nyheim should be your target (assuming Ekeler has already been scooped up)
John Brown – WR – Ravens (20% owned) | 2% FAAB
I’ll admit I’m still a bit hesitant to pick up Brown, but it has nothing to do with his talent, and everything to do with his injury history thanks to sickle cell. When Brown is on the field he is unquestionably talented and able to put up solid lines like his 3 receptions for 44 yards and a TD against the Bills, but he’s a frustrating guy to own when he has to sit on your bench half the season due to his health concerns. For his sake I hope John is able to stay healthy this season as he will most likely return solid WR3 value, but for me I’ll look elsewhere for guys who don’t have the built in risk.
Deep League Waiver Wire Pickups | 1% FAAB
Phillip Lindsay – RB – Broncos (4% owned)
Seems like Lindsay is a popular speculative add this week coming off a terrific line as he recorded 17 total touches (15 of those rushing) for 102 yards and a TD this past Sunday against the Broncos. So what is he doing in my deep league pickup section? I already wasn’t a fan of Royce Freeman heading into the season as I expected them to stick with a committee approach, and while one member of the committee blew up, it is just one game and I don’t want to overreact here. Royce is still the 1A in Denver, and Devontae Booker is lurking, so while Lindsay’s 15 carries look like a solid indicator of value I’m more inclined to believe the Broncos went with the hot hand and that Lindsay will typically see under 10 carries per week. He is a fine speculative add in case he keeps up this level of production, but I can’t currently imagine a scenario where I would be comfortable starting him.
Willie Snead – WR – Ravens (2% owned)
Some of the members of our community made sure I knew that Snead caught a TD yesterday, as I kept playing him last year in DFS while mumbling “I feel the need for Snead”. 2017 was an unmitigated disaster for Willie as he caught just 8 passes for 92 yards in 11 games for the Saints, but its a new year, and he came out hot hauling in 4 receptions for 49 yards and a TD. Snead is currently the WR3, but as I mentioned given John Brown’s injury concerns its not out of the realm of possibility Snead will finish the season as the WR2 making him a perfectly viable flex play in deeper fantasy football leagues.
Austin Carr – WR – Saints (1% owned)
Carr probably has the best opportunity to produce out of all this week’s deep league waiver wire pickups behind Willie Snead. Why? Because he is the starting slot receiver for a high powered Saints offense, and Austin was in for 43 of 64 snaps against the Bucs this past Sunday. His receiving total wasn’t impressive at just 2 receptions for 20 yards, but hey, this is the deep league section and you need to keep an eye on guys like this. If you want to add some bench WR depth, pick up Carr and see how he plays over the next few weeks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB – Bucs (3% owned)
I’ve always had a soft spot for Ryan Fitzpatrick (maybe because he has so many amazing nicknames like Fitzmagic.. or Fitztragic depending on the week), but after he won me $10k yesterday with a 417 yard, 5 TD Fitzmagic is going into my personal fantasy football hall of fame! The quotes out of Bucs camp this preseason were certainly strange as well, as they wouldn’t guarantee that Jameis Winston had the starting job upon return, which means if Ryan keeps playing at this high level he could actually cement his role as starter for the Bucs this season. So far so good, but for those who have followed Fitzpatrick’s career you know better than to go all in after one good game. If you play in a 2QB league though he is worth picking up and stashing to see if the current system is the perfect fit for his play style.
Darren Sproles – RB – Eagles (4% owned)
New year but the same story for Sproles as he continues to see some work in both the rushing and passing game, but doesn’t really rack up enough volume to be a standard league factor. If you’re in PPR it was a welcome sign to see him haul in 4 receptions for 22 yards, and he can be picked up in those formats, but 0.5 PPR he will be a fringe flex play most weeks in 12 team formats as even with an injury ahead of him he isn’t likely to claim a larger percentage of carres.
Jakeem Grant – WR – Dolphins (1% owned)
Well you wanted deep league waiver pickups… right? Jakeem Grant caught 5 of 7 targets this past Sunday against the Titans, and while the Dolphins receiving corps appears to be a bit of a muddied mess Grant was one of the few standouts in this game. His value seems equally as likely to rise as it is to fall after just one game, but in deep formats where the wire has been picked clean he is worth a stash while we wait to see if he can maintain this sort of target volume.
Honorable Mention – Tajae Sharpe (clear WR2 for TEN), Ian Thomas (Likely starter at TE while Greg Olsen is out)
I lost my TE and need a replacement section
My top pickups in order:
Ricky Seals-Jones (29% owned) | 3% FAAB
Saw 6 targets against the Redskins
Eric Ebron (33% owned) | 3% FAAB
5 targets, 4 receptions, 51 yards and a TD against the Bengals.
Charles Clay (30% owned) | 3% FAAB
Just 2 targets and no receptions in week 1, Bills should look to get him more involved going forward
Ben Watson (39% owned) | 2% FAAB
4 receptions for 44 yards against the Bucs
Will Dissly – TE – Seahawks (2% owned) | 2% FAAB
As a resident of Denver I had the pleasure of watching the Seahawks / Broncos game, and Dissly’s performance really stood out. The in game announcers remarked that he was expected to be a blocking TE coming out of college, but when they asked Pete Carroll about him he said he couldn’t wait to unleash him in game. And unleash they did as Dissly rumbled his way to 3 receptions for 105 yards and a TD against the Broncos. Will he see a consistent 5+ targets per week? Only time will tell, but with Doug Baldiwn suffering an MCL injury the Seahawks will be looking for reliable targets and Dissly had a terrific showing in week 1. Don’t blow all your FAAB rushing out to scoop him up, but if you need a TE he’s worth a look heading into week 2.
Jonnu Smith – TE – Titans (1% owned)
There will be owners out there looking for a TE following the likely season ending injury to Delanie Walker, and in deeper leagues Jonnu may be your best bet as he is likely to take over as the starter for the Titans going forward. While his rookie year numbers weren’t overly impressive with just 18 receptions in 16 games, Jonnu’s target share should improve drastically now with Delanie out meaning he is worth a look in all formats, especially those of 14+ teams or larger.Fantasy Football